The first step in cellulosic biofuels is converting tough plant materials made of cellulose and lignin into sugars that can then be fermented to make fuels. But this is expensive and currently requires a large quantity of enzymes to break down cellulose. “We’re talking truckloads,” says Frances Arnold, a professor of chemical engineering at Caltech who was not involved with the cow research. “We need a two- to fivefold reduction in the cost of enzymes,” she says.
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